Frequently Asked Tax Questions
What is the best time of
the year to travel to Greece ?
depends on where you want to go. The best months to
visit the islands are May, June, early July, late
August, September and early October. Avoid the dates
July 20th to August 20th which are the busiest of
the tourist season, and late October because the
weather gradually deteriorates.
If you want
to visit the Greek mainland, then March, April, May,
June, September and October are suitable months.
July and August are both very warm and busy.
Do I need a Visa to enter GREECE? Is a
vaccination required ?
the European Union need only their Identification
Card to enter Greece. For visitors from the US,
Canada, Australia and Japan, a Passport is required.
A Visa is not required for a tourist/business
stay of up to 90 days. However, if you travel on an
official or diplomatic U.S. passport, you will need
a Visa issued through the U.S. State Department.
Similar restrictions exist for other official and
diplomatic passport holders from other nations. More
importantly, your U.S. or Canadian passport must be
valid for a minimum of three months beyond the end
of your projected stay.
This is true for many
countries, not just Greece, and it is a good idea to
never travel on a passport with less than six months
valid time remaining. For additional information,
consult the Consular Section of the Embassy of
Greece, 2221 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington,
D.C. 20008 ( 202/939-5818 202/939-5818
Citizens of Andorra, Argentina,
Bolivia, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic,
Ecuador, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, South
Korea (the Republic of Korea), Latvia,
Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico,
Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama,
Paraguay, Poland, St Kitts & Nevis, San Marino, the
Slovak Republic, Switzerland, and Vatican City also
do not need a Visa.
For the citizens of
Brazil, El Salvador, and Uruguay, a Visa is also not
required, but the visa-free period is for 60 days.
Requirements for other countries vary substantially
and should be verified with the local Greek Embassy
or Consulate in that country.
Greek officials may ask to see travel tickets for
your return home or for additional destinations
beyond Greece. In practice, this rarely occurs and
usually will only be asked for if there is a
suspicion that the visitor intends to attempt to
work in Greece illegally.
It is more likely
to occur prior to a one-way flight, or with some
other form of transportation into Greece, rather
than once you've arrived on Greek soil. No
vaccinations are required for Greece.
Can I use my credit cards/traveller's
All major Credit Cards as
well as Euro-cheques are recognized and accepted in
most hotels, shops, travel and car rental agencies
Stickers in the front
windows will advise you as to which cards are
acceptable. Traveller's Cheques issued by all the
major Greek companies are widely recognized.
You can cash your traveller's cheques in all Greek
and foreign banks, exchange bureaus and big hotels,
but do not forget to have your passport with you.
Identification is necessary for the transaction.
What happens when I arrive in Athens
There will be two different
channels at immigration: one for citizens of EU
countries and one for everyone else. If you are a US
citizen, you will go through the latter channel.
You will need to get your passport stamped by
the immigration officials, It is also possible that
you will need to answer a few questions, but nothing
daunting. You will then have to wait a fairly long
time for your bags to appear on the carousel. Be
Once you have collected all of your
bags, you should then exit through the "nothing to
declare" channel of the customs area, unless you are
carrying dutiable goods You will then exit into the
How do I get to Athens
from the Air Port ?
The air port has
moved from Gylfada to a larger site further south.
The new airport is very modern, very nice and
organized..So you can either take the metro into the
city (your bus ticket also is a 24 hour metro/city
bus ticket) or catch a boat to what ever island you
are going to.
If you are staying in the Plaka
you will most likely want Syntagma or Monastiraki.
Ask your hotel which station is closer. There may be
a bus that goes directly to central Athens as well.
Before you spend your first night in Athens, decided
on what you are planning on doing.
If you are
going right to the islands, see when the boat
leaves. Many of the boats leave at night and arrive
on the island the next day. If your boat leaves in
the evening, there is no point is spending a night
in Athens then wasting a day (assuming you will
spend your last couple of days seeing the sites in
How much should a taxi cost
The taxis in Athens and big cities
have a meter that starts at EURO 0,80. The minimum
fare is EURO 2,0. The fee when taking a taxi from
airports and ports is EURO 1,80.
piece of luggage over 10kg there is a supplement of
EURO 0,50. After midnight the tariff is doubled. You
can only pay cash. Taxi drivers are not obliged to
issue receipts but may be able to provide you with
one upon request.
The standard ride
airport-Athens city is 25,00 - EURO 30,00 depending
on the traffic and the time of the day.
Can I bring my own car to GREECE ?
Yes, you can. For drivers bringing their own
cars to Greece, no special documents are required
for limited stays of up to three months. However,
international third-party insurance is required.
The vehicle's details are entered into the
driver's passport on entering the country. This
helps with regard to possible theft, and prevents
the car from being left in Greece.
exceeding three months, drivers should contact the
Greek Automobile Touring Club (ELPA), Athens Tower,
What's the Greek
weather like ?
All of us think of
Greece as sunny and warm. The cold, damp and
sometimes windy weather from late October until
March will therefore come as a surprise.
Houses and even public buildings are built to stay
cool in summer, which means many are downright cold
in winter. Central heating frequently isn't turned
on during the day. Be prepared with a few sweaters!
What should I bring. ?
block, sun block and more sun block.
(I tend to
bring one bottle and buy another there.)
hat that covers your face.
good pair of sunglasses that block U.V. rays.
sets of "day clothes" that are cool and comfortable.
Can be shorts (nice) and a decent t-shirt. Should be
Many women travelers wear sun skirts, but
this may get you stared at.
set of "evening" clothes that include pants and a
How you look is important.
you want to wear pants if you go into a major
walking shoes. Acropolis
tended to be on high peaks (surprise surprise) and
they tend to have a lot of rocks.
Many of the
island villages have cobble stone streets.
Day bag that you can carry a 1.5 L bottle of water
in, your guide books, sun screen and towel in.
decent camera that you can hide in your pocket or
I leave my expensive one at home.
or speed film. All purpose most of your pictures
will be outside.
Can even get by with 100.
Do I have to speak Greek
to survive in GREECE ?
But of course
you don't... Fortunately, Greece is a country with a
very long tradition in tourism, therefore, all of
the people who are working in the tourism industry
have a good knowledge of the English language.
Even the Greek traditional people living on the
island have a basic understanding of the English
language and are usually happy to give you any kind
of information you wish. Especially among the
younger Greek generation, you will find most of them
speaking Italian, in addition to English and Greek,
as the island has many visitors from Italy during
the high season. So, speaking Greek is not
necessary... however, visitors who attempt to speak
Greek are thoroughly encouraged by the locals.
Even if it's just a phrase or a few words, the
gesture is always appreciated. Indeed, Greek is a
language of gestures and to speak it also entails a
lot of gesticulation.
One point of confusion,
however, is the slight jerk of the head or eyebrows
upward to indicate 'no.' So, here are some tips in
Greek that you might find of use during your stay:
Don't confuse 'yes' and 'no.' Yes is ne - which
sounds like 'no' or 'nah' to English speakers.
No is okhi - which sounds like 'okay' to English
speakers. Need something? Remember to say 'Please!'
- parakalo - par-ah-kah-LO. And always say 'Thank
you!' - efkharisto- eff-car-ee-STOH.
general affirmative is entaksi - en-DOCK-see -
right, okay, uh-huh. Greece greets differently,
depending on the time of day. In the morning, say
kalimera - kah-lee-MARE-ah - and, in the afternoon,
say kalomesimeri - kah-lo-messy-mary- In the
evening, say kalispera - kah-lee-spare-ah.
say goodnight, say kalinikta - kah-lee-neek-tah. You
can also just say 'Hello' anytime - yia sas or
yiassou - yah-sooo.
What about the
Greek Cuisine ?
The Greek food is
considered to be both delicious and most nutritious
at the same time, so don't be afraid to try it out:
Find a nice restaurant with a great view, open the
menu, and let the party begin!
In case you're
completely confused with what you read in it, this
is a small useful guide for you: Soup - Avgolemono.
This is a pleasant chicken soup with lemon and rice.
Greek Mezedes - Assorted appetizers, such as a
selection of Greek olives, and some taramosalata
(caviar spread, generally pretty mildly flavored),
tzaziki (a cool, creamy cucumber and garlic dip),
and/or hummous (flavorful mashed garbanzo bean dip).
You may also find cold dolmadakia, stuffed grape
leaves filled with rice and tomato, which as
meat-filled dolmades do double duty as an entree.
Tyropita and spanakopita are cheese and spinach
pies, respectively. Famous Greek Souvlaki - Skewers
of chicken, lamb, beef or, most commonly, pork,
grilled and often served with tzaziki sauce. Simple
fare, generally delicious, occasionally tough.
Moussaka - A layered primarily vegetable casserole,
often made with eggplant, sometimes with the
addition or substitution of squash or potatoes or
Topped with Bechamel sauce,
a rich, fluffy, cheese-flavored, custardy sauce,
usually forming a high-calorie layer about an inch
thick. But it is delicious. Pastitsio - Similar to
the above, only made with macaroni and ground beef,
vaguely similar to lasagna, but without the
tomatoes. Usually a safe bet for kids.
Stuffed Tomatoes or Stuffed Bell Peppers - Nearly
universal dish, especially savory in Greece, great
for the timid eater. It will taste pretty much like
home no matter where you come from. The plain,
little cafes directly across from the gate to
Knossos offer excellent examples of this simple
standby. Coffee - If you want something like
American coffee, ask for a filtered coffee or French
Nescafe Instant is greatly respected
in Greece, and finer restaurants will ceremoniously
bring out an empty cup, a small silver pot of water,
and the precious single packet of Nescafe, in
response to a request for a cup of coffee.
Now, genuine Greek coffee is delicious and can be
ordered in a variety of ways - give it a try!
Baklava - honey-drenched pastry with nuts.
Delicious, if a bit sticky and chewy. Not good for
those with sensitive teeth!
Note : If
you are a vegetarian travel ling in Greece, you may
be surprised at the relative scarcity of vegetarian
restaurant meals, except at specifically vegetarian
With wonderfully abundant fresh
vegetables available, more choices might be
expected. But in Greece, people go to restaurants
largely to dine on cooked meats that they may not
get every day. Worse, vegetables are often cooked in
chicken broth, and it is very difficult to get
trustworthy information on this point from the
Salads are a safe bet, but
cooked vegetable dishes will often contain meat or
animal products. Many Greek restaurants still allow
diners to wander into the kitchen to see what's
cooking. Bring your camera for a great "action shot"
you'll treasure. Enjoy your exploration of Greek
Can I use my mobile phone in
If you want to use your
mobile abroad, you may need to get permission from
your network operator before travelling.
involves calling customer service and asking for
your phone to be enabled for international use. This
function can be switched on remotely. But, you
should also check to see that the specifications of
your phone are compatible with networks abroad. The
GSM Association's website has a full list.
Once you arrive in Greece, your phone will lock onto
the network with the strongest signal. While some
devices will let you choose which one you can use,
you will have to reset it each time you switch on
Frequent travellers to Greece
often purchase a mobile phone for Greece, or
purchase another Sim card which they swap when they
arrive in Greece.
The main Greek active
networks, particularly on Greece, are Vodafone,
TeleStet and Cosmote.
Shall I take my
Don't expect 24-hour
computer centers, but it won't be difficult to find
compatible software and printers.
is power. Electricity in Greece is 220 volts, 50
Check your computer for a dual
voltage switch. If there isn't one, then check with
You will need a
transformer and an adapter. Finally, leave your
printer at home.
Fluctuating air pressures
may wreak havoc with the toner.